1627 Corporal Cyril Garnet Currier WIA***
40th Infantry Battalion, 10th Brigade, 3rd Division
1 st Australian Imperial Force 1914-1919

WIA** - Three times Wounded in Action

This file last updated 10 October, 2018 11:49

Introduction

Photograph here, if available

The following information and chronological table are a summary of the entries from the service record of 1627 Corporal Cyril Garnet Currier.

He is the eldest of the three Currier brothers who enlisted in World War 1, the others being Edward Clifford Currier and Ernest George Currier. These three sons of John Wallace and Catherine (Kate) Currier are on file in 1908 as destitute and neglected children after the death of John. This hardship may have been a prime motivator in their later enlistment. There were nine siblings in all.

Both Cyril and Ernest served in the 40th Battalion, Cyril as an original member when the unit was created, Ernest as a much later reinforcement.

Cyril was recommended for the Military Medal by his Commanding Officer for his action on 29 Mar 1918 in revealing the position of an enemy sniper. Severely wounded, he was able to crawl back across open ground and give the exact location of the sniper who was 'dislodged' with a Lewis machinegun. Unfortunately the award was not recommended at a higher level.

The AWM gives his rank at discharge as Lance Corporal, however an enquiry made after his discharge requested clarification. The response showed that he was promoted to Corporal on 13 Nov 1918 and held that rank at the date of discharge. Short term, temporary promotions to Lance Corporal, Corporal and even Sergeant were made to fill temporary gaps when those holding the senior rank were wounded or absent. The men so promoted would usually go on to gain substantive rank. Cyril's record shows this admirably.

Some of the service record pages may be duplicated. This generally occurs when the unit and Army records are amalgamated on discharge or death in Service.

Service numbers were allocated by the original unit, and are not unique to the individual. Where an individual is transferred into another unit, duplicating an existing number, the transferee is given an alphabetic suffix, eg 1234A. Officers did not have Army numbers, and if commissioned from the ranks, relinquished their number on commissioning.

Prepared for Vietnam veteran, Robert Clifford 'Bomber' Gibson, grandnephew of Cyril Garnet Currier, by Clive Mitchell-Taylor - 7 Oct 2018.

View Cyril Currier's Service Record, Embarkation Record, Recommendation for the Military Medal or Nominal Roll entry.


Enlistment Details

Service Number

1627

Name

Cyril Garnet Currier

Born at

Hobart, Tasmania

Age

19 years and 10 months (as at 13 Mar 1916 - birth dates are not actually recorded. His actual birthday is 8 May 1896.)

Trade or Calling

Carpenter

Apprentice

No

British Subject

Natural born

Marital Status

Unmarried

Next of Kin

Mother Kate Currier with several addresses written in and then struck out. The last address was Enderselie, Tasmania.

Previous Military Service

No. Evaded. [This most likely refers to the compulsory cadet service of the time.]

Discharged with Ignominy

No

Attested at

Claremont, Tasmania

Date of Enlistment

13 Mar 1916

Height

5 foot 9½ inches [176.5cm]

Weight

9 stone 10 pounds [132 pounds or 60Kg]

Chest

32½ - 35 inches [82.5cm - 89cm]

Complexion

Fair

Eyes

Blue

Hair

Light Bfrown

Religious Denomination

Church of England

Distinctive Marks

Not on record

Units

40th Infantry Battalion


Chronological Events

Rank

Description

Date

Remarks

Private

Enlisted

13 Mar 1916

Private

OFFENCE: Overstaying Final Leave from 11am 20 May 1916 to 11pm 20 May 1916. AWARD: Forfeit 1 day's pay, 2 days confined to Barracks (CB).

Private

Embarked on HMAT "BERRIMA" (A35) from Australia for Active Service abroad. The preceding period would have encompassed basic training

1 Jul 1916

There is an embarkation record dated 1 April 1916. This may represent sailing from Hobart to Sydney.

Private

Disembarked at Devonport

22 Aug 1916

Private

Taken on Strength of 40th Battalion, England

23 Sep 1916

Private

Proceeded overseas to France

23 Nov 1916

Private

To hospital, sick, scabies. Transferred to 4 Base Hospital

4 Apr 1917

France

Private

Rejoined unit from hospital

12 Apr 1917

Private

Wounded in Action, admitted to 9th Australian Field Ambulance (9 AFA), gunshot wound to left thigh and knee

31 May 1917

Private

Transferred to 2nd Australian General Hospital, Boulogne.

2 Jun 1917

Private

Transferred from 2nd Australian General Hospital (1 AGH) to England

4 Jun 1917

Private

Admitted to 3rd Southern General Hospital

5 Jun 1917

Private

Base Records Melbourne advises Kate Currier by telegram that Cyril Currier has been wounded and that they will advise anything further received.

11 Jun 1917

Private

Base Records, Melbourne advises Kate Currier that Private C.G. Currier has been admitted to 3rd Southern General Hospital, Oxford, England on 5 Jun 1917 suffering from a gunshot wound left thigh and knee, mild[sic].

15 Jun 1917

Private

Transferred to 3rd Australian Army Hospital

25 Jun 1917

Private

Transferred to Weymouth

6 Jul 1917

Private

Classified B1a2,

12 Aug 1917

Private

Classified B1A3

20 Aug 1917

Private

Classified B1 a4

27 Aug 1917

Private

Classified A3.

18 Sep 1918

Private

Transferred into Overseas Training Battalion, Perham Downes

21 Sep 1917


Rank

Description

Date

Remarks

Private

Proceeded overseas to France

20 Oct 1917

Private

Transferred to 3rd Australian Division Base Depot, Rouelles

21 Oct 1917

Private

Rejoined unit

27 Oct 1917

Temporary Corporal

Promoted to Corporal vice Coporal Lovitt promoted

20 Nov 1917

Private

Reverted to Private from Temporary Corporal (in excess of establishment).

1 Feb 1918

Lance Corporal

Promoted Lance Corporal

1 Feb 1918

Lance Corporal

Wounded in Action (2nd occasion), gunshot wound to abdomen (severe)

28 Mar 1918

Lance Corporal

Admitted to 11th Australian Field Ambulance (11 AFA)

30 Mar 1918

Lance Corporal

Transferred to England, ex France

6 Apr 1918

Lance Corporal

Admitted to Bath War Hospital

6 Apr 1918

Lance Corporal

Commanding Officer recommends Cyril Garnett Currier for the Military Medal, with the following citation:

On the 29th March 1918, West of MORLANCOURT, this man showed bravery and initiative. A sniper had caused several casualties in our front line and this man volunteered to attempt to dislodge the sniper. He crawled across the open but was severely wounded. He managed to make his way back and gave the exact location of the sniper, who was at once dislodged by a Lewis Gun.

The recommendation was overruled at higher headquarters, and while there is a record of the nomination in the Australian War Memorial (see above) there is no mention of the nomination in Cyril Garnet Currier's military record.

7 April 1918

I would like to think that he knew about it later, but this may not be the case. It does, however show the esteem in which he was held within the unit.

Lance Corporal

Base Records Melbourne advises Kate Currier that Private C.G. Currier has been Wounded in Action (second occasion) and provides a forwarding address for mail.

12 Apr 1918

Lance Corporal

Base Records Melbourne advises that Private C.G. Currier has been admitted to Bath War Hospital with a severe gunshot wound to the abdomen and provides a forwarding address for mail.

Lance Corporal

In an undated letter, Kate Currier asks for any information concerning her son 1627 Private Cyril Garnett [sic] Currier of B Company, 40th Battalion, and advises her change of address.

Rec'd
26 Apr 1918

Lance Corporal

Base Records, Melbourne, advises Kate Currier that Private C.G. Currier is progressing favourably.

4 May 1918

Lance Corporal

Transferred to 3rd Australian Army Hospiital

17 May 1918


Rank

Description

Date

Remarks

Private

Taken on Strength - 69th Battalion, England

23 Mar 1917

Lance Corporal

Discharge to No 3 Convalescent Depot, Hurdcott.

24 May 1918

Lance Corporal

Marched in to No 4 Convalescent Depot, Hurdcott.

1 Jun 1918

Lance Corporal

Base Records, Melbourne, advises Kate Currier that Temporary Corporal Currier is convalescent, and gives his address for mail.

5 Jun 1918

Lance Corporal

Marched in to Overseas training Brigade, L. Deverill

4 Jul 1917

Lance Corporal

Proceeded overseas to France ex England to rejoin unit

24 Jul 1918

Lance Corporal

Marched in to Australian Infantry Base Depot (AIBD), Rouelles

26 Jul 1918

Lance Corporal

Rejoined unit

31 Jul 1918

Temporary Corporal

Promoted Temporary Corporal vice Cpl Jeffries, evacuated 3 Aug 1918

15 Aug 1918

Lance Corporal

Reverts to substantive rank on Cpl Jeffries rejoining the unit

31 Aug 1918

Temporary Corporal

Promoted Temporary Corporal vice Lance Sergeant Shalless evacuated wounded

30 Aug 1918

Temporary Corporal

Wounded in Action (third occasion)

1 Sep 1918

Temporary Corporal

Admitted to 37th Casualty Clearing station (37 CCS), contusions, back

1 Sep 1918

Temporary Corporal

Discharged to Base Depot

3 Sep 1918

Lance Corporal

Rejoined unit

12 Sep 1918

Lance Corporal

Base Records Melbourne advises Kate Currier that he was discharged from hospital on 2 Sep 1918

19 Sep 1918

Lance Corporal

To 10th Brigade School

20 Oct 1918

Lance Corporal

Rejoined Unit, ex school

26 Oct 1918

Corporal

Promoted Substantive Corporal

3 Dec 1918


Rank

Description

Date

Remarks

Corporal

Detached to 10th Field Company, Engineers (10 FCE.)

13 Dec 1918

Corporal

Rejoined unit from detachment

12 Mar 1919

Corporal

Proceeded to Australian C(?) Workshops

18 Mar 1919

Corporal

Marched out for return to Australia

13 May 1919

Corporal

Marched into No 3 Group, Coford, ex France.

14 May 1919

Corporal

Returned to Australia per HMAT "MAIN".

23 Jul 1919

Corporal

To ships hospital

14 Aug 1919

Corporal

Discharged from Ship's hospital

18 Aug 1918

Corporal

Discharged

28 Dec 1919

Corporal

Memorandum from Deputy Commissioner J.E. BARRETT to Officer in Charge, Base Records
Re: 1627, CURRIE, CYRIL Ernest [sic] - 1627 - 40th Bn. 1.    Overseas paper including B.103,178,179 Attestation Paper wer received from your office on 27.8.1925 and it is noted according to the Attestation Paper that this ex-soldier was promoted to the rank of Corporal on 13.11.1918.
2.    Victoria Barracks (2nd M.D.) states that on discharge the rate of pay for this soldier was 6/- per diem [six shillings per day]
3.    In view of the foregoing, I shall be pleased if this appointment could be confirmed, nd also whether the member was discharged with the rank of Corporal.

29 Oct 1928

Corporal

Rsponse to the query above.
In reply to your query I have to advise that records show that [the] abovenamed was promoted to Corporal on 13 Nov 1918 and held that rank at the date of discharge

29 Oct 1928

Hopefully they owed him a lot of backpay - he earned it.


Medals and Dress Embellishments

British War Medal 1914-1920 and Victory Medal, not entitled to 1914-15 Star as he enlisted after 1915.

Not entitled to wear ANZAC 'A'.

Three Wound Stripes for 31 May 1917, 28 Mar 1918 and 1 Sep 1918.

Three Long Service Stripe, four Overseas Service Chevrons.

Use the hyperlinks or scroll down to see further information on the badges.


Background - Infantry Battalions

[Based on information at www.aif.adfa.edu.au and Redcoats to Cams, Ian Kuring.]

In December 1914, battalions were organised into four companies each of four platoons, but strength was unchanged.

By mid 1918, the number of officers had increased to 38 but the number of other ranks had declined to 900. At the same time, the firepower of the battalion was greatly augmented with hand and rifle grenades and Lewis Guns, of which there was 34 per battalion.

Rifle, Short Magazine Lee-Enfield .303in, Mark III
Rifle, Small Magazine Lee-Enfield .303in, Mark III with sword bayonet

40th Battalion, 10th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Division

[Information from Australian War Memorial and https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au]
Unit Shoulder Patch 40th Infantry Battalion
40th Infantry Battalion Shoulder Patch
Not entitled to wear ANZAC 'A'

The 3rd Division was raised in Australia early in 1916. The 40th Battalion was Tasmania's contribution to the strength of the division and it joined the Victorian-raised 37th, 38th and 39th Battalions to form the 10th Brigade.

The battalion embarked for the Western Front in July 1916 and by December was serving in the trenches in France. The 40th Battalion spent 1917 bogged in bloody trench warfare in Flanders. In June the battalion took part in the battle of Messines and in October the battle for Broodseinde Ridge. It was during this battle that Sergeant Lewis McGee of B Company performed the act of valour that earned him the Victoria Cross. McGee was killed in action eight days later, one of the 248 members of the battalion killed, wounded or gassed in the battle of Passchendaele.

The battalion spent much of 1918 fighting in the Somme valley. In March they met the German Spring Offensive at Morlancourt. In August and September the battalion helped to drive the Germans back to the Hindenburg Line. It was near Proyart in August that Sergeant Percy Statton of the 40th earned his Victoria Cross.

At 11 am on 11 November 1918 the guns fell silent on the Western Front. The November Armistice was followed by the Peace Treaty of Versailles signed on 28 June 1919.

Between February and September 1919 the men of the 40th Battalion returned to Australia for demobilisation and discharge.


Battle Honours

Albert 1918, Amiens, Ancre 1918. Broodseinde, France and Flanders 1916-18, Hindenberg Line, Messines 1917 Mont St Quentin, Passchendaele, Poelcappelle, Polygon Wood, Somme 1918, St Quention Canal, Ypres, 1917


1914-15 Star

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]
1914-15 Star

The decoration consists of a four-pointed star in bright bronze as shown, with the date 1914-15 on the central scroll. The reverse is plain, and is stamped with the name and unit of the recipient. The ribbon is red, white and blue, shaded and watered, worn with the red nearest the centre of the breast. It is atached to the medal through a ring.

It is similar in shape and description to the 1914 Star, to which few, if any, Australians were entitled.

The decoration, sanctioned in 1918, was issued "to all officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the British, Dominion, Colonial and Indian Forces, including civilian medical practitioners, nursing sisters, nurses and others eployed with military hospitals, who actually served on the establishment of a unit in a theatre of war as defined in Appendix 'A'. Individuals in possession of the 1914 Star will not be eligible for the award of this decoration."

Appendix 'A' included the Western, Eastern, Egyptian, African, Asiatic and Australasian Theatres of war, with commencement dates individual to countries and campaigns.


British War Medal 1940-20

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]
British War Medal

This medal was approved by King George V in 19 19 to record the bringing of the war to a successful conclusion and the arduous services rendered by His Majesty's Forces.

The medal, which is supended from its ribbon by means of a straight clasp, without swivel, bears on the obverse the effigy of His Majesty - exactly similar to that on a half-crown - with the legend 'Georgivus V : Omn : Rex et Ind : Imp'.

The reverse bears a design which represents St George on horseback, trampling underfoot the eagle shield of the central powers and a skull and crossbones, the emblems of death. Overhead is the risen sun of victory. The male figure, rather than a symbolical female one, was chosen because man had borne the brunt of the fighting. The figure was mounted on horseback as symbolical of man's mind controlling force (represented by the horse) of far greater strength than his own. The design is thus also symbolical of the mechanical and scientific appliances which helped so largely to win the war.

The ribbon has a orange watered centre with stripes of white and black at each side and with borders of royal blue. It is stated that the colours have no particular signification.


Victory Medal

[Extract from Ribbons and Medals: Naval, Military, Air Force and Civil, Captain H. Taprell Dorling, DSO RN,
George Philip & Son, 33 Fleet Street, London EC4, 1940]

This medal, of bronze, bears on the obverse a winged figure of Victory, full length in the middle of the medal and full face; the borders and the backgound plain, without either incription or date. On the reverse is an inscription. "The Great War for Civilization." and either the names of the different Allied and Associated Powers, or their coats of arms.

The rim is plain, and the medal hangs from a ring. The ribbon is red in the centre, with green and violet on either side shaded to form the colours of two rainbows.

It has also been approved that any officer or man who has been "mentioned in despatches" shall wear a small bronze oak leaf on the ribbon of this medal. Only one oak leaf is so worn, no matter how many "mentions" the wearer may have received.

The medal is designed to obviate the exchange of Allied Commemorative war medals, and is issued only to those who actually served on the establishment of a unit or ship in a theatre of war. [This is an important distinction, as those Australians who served only in Australia, or only in Australia and England, were not entitled to the award.]


The Rising Sun Badge

This version of the Rising Sun Badge was worn by soldiers of the 1st and 2nd Australian Imperial Forces, and the badge has become an integral part of the Digger tradition.

Worn on the the upturned brim of the slouch hat, it is readily identified with thespirit of ANZAC.

There are a number of versions of the genesis of the badge, the most widely acceptedbeing that it derived from a Trophy of Arms - various swords and bayonets mounted ona semi-circular display in Victoria Barracks, Melbourne.

The original version worn in South Africa was modified in 1904 and worn by Australian soldiers through two World Wars.

Later changes were made to the style of the crown and the wording on the scroll. The "King's Crown" is the one shown to the left, while arches of the "Queen's Crown" rise at the same angle as the base of the crown, curve at their highest point to a level mid-way on the orb below the cross and then down to below the orb.

In 1949 the scroll was changed to read "Australian Military Forces".

In 1969 the badge was modified to incorporate the 7-pointed Federation Star with a central Queen's crown over the Torse wreath (a twisted roll of fabric) from the original 1902 version, and the scroll wording changed to "Australia".

In the 75th anniversary year of the the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli, there was a drive to return to traditional accoutrements worn by Australian soldiers during the World Wars, which clearly identify the Australian Army. The Queen's crown returned to its central position and the scroll now reads "The Australian Army'.


The ANZAC 'A'

ANZAC 'A'

The brass letter 'A' to represent service related to Gallipoli (ANZAC) was authorised to be worn 'over unit colour patches on both sleeves of the service dress jacket and greatcoat" by Military Order 354 of 18 Aug 17 and AIF Order 937 of 6 Nov 17, as amended in terms of qualification by Military Order 20 of 19 Jan 18 and by AIF Order 1084 of 25 Jan 18.

The size of the letter 'A', introduced as one inch in height (AIF Order 994 of 30 Nov 17), was reduced to three-quarters of an inch by AIF Order 1012 of 11 Dec 17.

Provision for wearing the brass letter 'A' was also included in General Routine Order 0.815 of 17 Dec 43 and GRO 310 of 7 Dec 45.


Wound Stripe

Army Order No.204 Headquarters, 1st A.N.Z.A.C., 9th August, 1916. (slightly amended for layout)
DISTINCTIONS FOR OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS WHO HAVE BEEN WOUNDED

Wound Stripes

The following distinction in dress will be worn on the service dress jacket by all officers and soldiers who have been wounded in any of the campaigns since 4th August 1914 :

  • Stripes of gold Russia braid No.1, two inches [2.5cm] in length sewn perpendicularly on the left forearm sleeve of the jacket to mark each occasion on which wounded.

  • In the case of officers, the lower end of the first strip of gold braid will be immediately above the upper point of the flap on the cuff.

  • Warrant officers, non-commissioned officers and men will wear the gold braid on the left forearm sleeve, the lower edge of the braid to be three inches from the bottom of the sleeve.

  • Subsequent occasions on which wounded, will be placed on either side of the original one at half inch interval.

  • Gold braid and sews will be obtained free on indent from the Army Ordnance Department; the sewing on will be carried out regimentally without expense to the public.


Long Service Badges

[Image from http://www.diggerhistory.info]
Long Service Badges
A.I.F. ORDER No.470, 24 January 1917 (slightly amended for layout)

The question of the issue of a badge to members of the AIF who have completed a certain period of service has received consideration, and approval has been given for the issue of a badge for long service combined with good conduct, subject to the following conditions.

  • The badge will consist of an inverted single chevron of service braid to be worn on the left forearm - the point of the chevron to be 3 inches [7.6cm] above the edge of the cuff.

  • Warrant and non-commissioned officers and men, will be eligible for the badge, which will not carry an increased pay or allowance.

  • One chevron will be worn for each complete year's service in the Australian Imperial Force from the date of embarkation in Australia.

  • No badge will be issued to any man who, during the 12 months, has incurred a regimental entry (i.e. an entry involving forfeiture of pay) in his sheet.

  • Time absent from the unit in hospital or elsewhere on account of wounds or sickness, not the result of misconduct, will count as service towards earning the badge.

  • A man in possession of a badge will forfeit same on being convicted of any offence involving a forfeiture of pay , but will be eligible to regain the badge after 6 months good conduct, from the date of forfeiture.

  • The illegal wearing of this badge will be a crime under A.A. Section 40.


Overseas Service Chevrons

[http://au.geocities.com/fortysecondbattalion/level2/reference/01nos-standards.htm]
[Image from http://www.diggerhistory.info]

Overseas Service Chevrons

Australian Imperial Force Order No.1053, January 1918 (Slightly amended for layout)

His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of chevrons to denote service overseas since the 4th August 1914.

  • Chevrons of two colours have been approved.

    • The first chevron if earned on or before 31st December 1914, will be red.

    • If earned on or after 1st January 1915, it will be blue.

    • All additional chevrons after the first will be blue.

  • The chevrons will be worsted embroidery, 1/4 inch [0.63cm] in width, the arms 4 inches [10.2cm] long. They will be worn inverted on the right forearm:

  • In the case of officers, the apex of the lowest chevron will be 1 inch [2.5cm] above the upper point of the flap on the cuff.

  • In the case of warrant-officers, non-commissioned officers and men, the apex of the lowest chevron will be midway between the seams and four inches [10.2cm] above the bottom edge of the sleeve.

  • The red chevron will be worn below the blue one. They will not be worn on greatcoats.

  • In the case of Australians, the first chevron was earned the date the individual left Australia. Additional chevrons were awarded for each successive aggregate period of 12 months service outside Australia.


Some Government Issued Badges

[Badge information collated from Australian War Memorial, "Australians Awarded" by Clive Johnson and en.wikipedia.com]
Nearest Female
Relative Badge
War Widows
Guild Brooch
Silver War Badge
 
Discharged Returned
Soldier Badge

Government issued badge in enamel
and sterling silver issued to the wife,
mother or nearest female relative of
a serving soldier. Additional bars
were suspended below for further
individuals.

Membership badge of a Kookaburra
in sterling silver, issued by the
Government to the widows of men
who lost their lives due to their
service. Numbered on the reverse.

Awarded to service personnel who
sustained a wound, or contracted
sickness of disability in the course
of the war as a result of which
they were invalided out, or to
soldiers who had retired during
the course of the war.

First issued in 1916. Slight variations are indicative of a number of makers. 267,300 were issued. Numbered on the reverse but the numbers have no link with length of service or Service Number.